I grew up near the ocean in Lake Worth, Florida. My parents had a small sailboat and launching it for a two-month cruise through the remote islands of the Bahamas was the highlight of every year.
I attended Dreyfoos School of the Arts, where I focused in communications, especially creative writing, and also had classes in photography and visual art.
At Stetson University I majored in English with my focus in creative writing and minors in philosophy and psychology. I met my now fiancé, Justin, and graduated with honors.
Together we said goodbye to our families and college friends and traveled across the world to Taiwan, where we taught at an after-school English program, HESS International Education Organization. We earned our TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) through Hess.
When we returned to America, Justin went to work in publishing, as is logical for an English major. All I wanted to do was learn about and work with dogs.
When I saw a job as a kennel tech at a family owned dog daycare I leaped on the chance.
I spent my days mostly alone, surrounded by groups of dogs. I learned about and managed their social interactions, groomed them, trained them, and loved them. I became marketing manager, then general manager.
After a little over a year at the daycare, I went to work as a liaison at UF Small Animal Hospital. I enjoyed my bustling days surrounded by animals and people who loved them.
Soon I became liaison of zoology, neurology, and integrative medicine.
Zoo medicine was a constant bustle of strange noises and glimpses through cage coverings of injured wildlife and sickly exotic pets.
Neurology saw some of the most emotionally intense cases in the hospital. Doctors in this department made paralyzed dogs or dogs in debilitating pain normal again. Sometimes they couldn’t, and owners faced heartbreaking decisions.
Dogs in recovery from surgery of all kinds, as well as dogs with chronic conditions or diseases of aging, all received therapy from integrative medicine. These were some of the dogs I got to know best, as some came week after week for years, and I loved to lounge on the exercise mats with the dogs when I had downtime.
When a nine-month-old King Charles Cavalier suddenly became paralyzed in the rear, MRI images revealed that nothing could be done to reverse the injury.
The owners were out of town and decided to wake the puppy from anesthesia and do therapy for a few days while they decided what to do.
It was at this time that I met Winston. He reacted to every new experience with overwhelming enthusiasm.
What can I say? I fell for him. I signed the papers, bought a big box of diapers, and brought him home, his donated pink wheelchair in the back seat.
Now I write and make art full-time. I live with my fiance, Justin, and our three dogs and seven chickens in a little purple house in Gainesville, Florida.
Much of my work is done through Upwork. You can check out my Upwork profile here.